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How justified are hostile criticisms of the Versailles Treaty On the 11th of November 1918 the Kaisers Germany lay down their weapons on the signing of the armistice agreement After 5 years of fighting the First World War had come to an end Germany had lost and as such assumed all responsibility for its belligerent actions and the outbreak of the conflict So out of Germanys war guilt was born the Paris Peace Conference and from the cattle trading that ensued over its five-month duration sprung the Versailles treaty professing the manifesto for German reparations which in the years to come were to cripple the newly founded Weimar Republic Many countries statesmen and certainly not least the population of Germany criticised the agreement for its unfair terms Not only this but it is still widely regarded as a major facet in any discussion of direct causes for the Second World War But is this hostility in contemporary history unfounded or can the Versailles Treaty decently be called a mistake of what was realised to be biblical proportions As the historian Sally Marks wrote the net effect of World War One and the Peace Treaty was the effective enhancement of Germanys relative strength in Europe Suggesting that the treaty had backfired on the victorious allies Adopted by other historians as well this line of argument is one not without question It is clear that before the rise of Hitler it certainly did not enhance Germany in any sense of the word Prime examples of quite the opposite are numerous Explicitly vast financial debts and loss of land all of which were bought about directly by the terms of the treaty However credibility can still be attributed to this somewhat damning thesis of Marks In the longer term it could be said revenge for the treaty was a driving force in creating a Germany positioned to start war in 1939 Indeed Hitler harnessed this powerful
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